Public Records

Your credit report shows any public records related to your finances. In general, you want this part of your credit report to be empty. You can expect that almost anything that happens in a courtroom will appear in the public records section. However, nonfinancial matters will not show up. The types of public records most likely to appear on a credit report are:

  • Bankruptcies

  • Tax liens

  • Civil judgments against you

  • Foreclosures

  • Wage garnishments

As you can probably tell, if these items show up on your credit report, it will hurt your credit. These items will stay for seven years, and then drop off. However, if you owe a tax debt, it will never go away — you have to pay it and then wait seven years for it to disappear. Tax liens can come from the federal government, as well as state and local agencies.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will stay in your reports for ten years. Chapter 13 bankruptcy, like most other negative items, will drop off your reports after seven years.

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